- September 2009: Vol. 21 No. 8

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The Recession’s Global Reach: Transaction Markets Across the Globe Grind to a Halt

by Tim Bellman

In 2007 real estate transaction volumes reached historic highs fueled by cheap debt, strong fundamentals and the appeal of a decreasing yield. Since that point in time, deals have stalled amid the global financial and economic crisis. According to data from Real Capital Analytics (RCA) (as of December 2008), total transaction volume fell by 57 percent year-on-year in 2008. Sales volume and number of trades decreased worldwide even more in the first quarter of 2009, falling 73 percent annually to just $47 billion and 1,014 properties, according to RCA (as of April 2009). A combination of costly and/or inaccessible financing and diminished return expectations have resulted in diverging views between buyers and sellers. The decline in transactions has been global and has affected all sectors and most geographies. Even some emerging markets, such as Brazil, Bulgaria and Malaysia, which had held up relatively better in 2008, have shown declines of at least 80 percent in first quarter 200

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